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Punjab FM announces Rs 2.04 Lakh Crore Budget for FY 2024-25, focusing on Agriculture, Education, and Healthcare

Punjab's Finance Minister, Harpal Singh Cheema, launched a staggering ₹2,04,918 crore budget for the upcoming financial year 2024-25. This budget marks a notable increase of 2.93% compared to the revised estimates of the previous fiscal year, which stood at ₹1,99,076 crore.

Boost for Agriculture and Allied Sectors
With a firm commitment to bolstering the agricultural backbone of Punjab, the finance minister allocated ₹13,784 crore for the agriculture sector. Additionally, a substantial sum of ₹575 crore has been set aside for various Crop Diversification Schemes aimed at enhancing agricultural practices and sustainability. Furthermore, the launch of the "Mission Unnat Kisan" highlights the government's dedication to providing timely technical assistance to farmers, including a 33% subsidy on cotton seed to benefit approximately 87,000 farmers.

Horticulture and Soil Conservation
Punjab introduced the Punjab Horticulture Advancement and Sustainable Entrepreneurship (PHASE) initiative to elevate product quality and foster horticulture crop clusters across major production zones. Moreover, significant allocations towards soil and water conservation, including investments in micro-irrigation and underground pipelines, demonstrate the government's commitment to judiciously managing water resources.

Animal Husbandry, Dairy, and Fisheries
The government's focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries is evident through the establishment of veterinary services and fish seed farms, along with initiatives like "Mission Phulkari" to empower village-level artisans. Substantial financial support for sugarcane farmers and investments in Co-Gen and Ethanol projects highlight efforts towards agricultural diversification and sustainability.

The FM has also proposed the initiation of a 'One River One Fish Farming Program', which involves allocating 3233 acres of land for fish farming in the village of Kanya in the Fazilka district. This initiative aims to establish a new fish farm in the area.

Education Sector
Intending to make Punjab an "educated Punjab," the government provided ₹16,987 crore for the field of education. Noteworthy initiatives include the construction and renovation of school infrastructure, teacher regularization, recruitment, and skill upgradation programs. The introduction of Schools of Eminence, Schools of Brilliance, Schools of Applied Learning, and Schools of Happiness underscores the government's commitment to enhancing educational standards and fostering holistic development.

Healthcare and Road Safety
The establishment of Aam Aadmi Clinics, along with the "Farishtey Scheme" aimed at reducing morbidity rates from road accidents, showcases the government's focus on healthcare accessibility and road safety. Additionally, the proposal to establish sports nurseries across all districts reflects efforts to promote sports and nurture young talent.

To develop young athletes, the government intends to open sports nurseries in every district. Additionally, the budgetary allocation of ₹10,635 crore for the Home Affairs, Justice, and Jails Department underscores the government's commitment to ensuring law enforcement and justice delivery mechanisms are adequately supported.

Punjab's budget for FY 2024-25 reflects a comprehensive approach towards fostering economic growth, agricultural sustainability, educational excellence, healthcare accessibility, and overall societal well-being. With substantial allocations across key sectors, the government aims to propel Punjab towards a path of inclusive development and prosperity.

Source: Krishi Jagran

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